The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

College myths exposed at South seminar

By Lauren Kendrick/reporter

Many myths surround college life, and a South Campus coordinator proved some wrong and uncovered some truths last week. Chris Carcerano of the center for academic success, presented the Myth Busters seminar April 1 on South Campus.

“We’re here to help build your knowledge base but also to teach how to apply that knowledge to daily life,” he said.

Myth: It is better to get good grades rather than take challenging classes. False.

While it is important to get good grades, Carcerano said it is the process and actually learning the knowledge that is important.

“Some people come to college thinking that they are just here to get glorified job training and to get a piece of paper when they finish,” he said.

Myth: Colleges are concerned only with a student’s academic development. False.

Carcerano said many colleges pride themselves on “developing the whole person.” Many colleges require students to take a certain number of classes from different topics.

“Broad-based general education helps to make students a functioning member, a better member, of society that develops students’ understanding of the world and society,” he said. “We learn our morals and beliefs from our family when we are younger.”

College is a place to test those morals and beliefs against others that are different, Carcerano said. College introduces students to many types of people and many different beliefs. 

“Expose yourself to as many schools of thought as you possibly can,” he said.

People are constantly developing their person, figuring out who they are and reaching self-actualization.

Myth: If your roommate dies while living in the dorm, you receive an automatic 4.0 for the semester. False.

While death is a traumatic event, no one has ever received a 4.0 GPA having a roommate die, Carcerano said.

Myth: The freshman 15. True.

Dr. Kenneth Cooper, M.D., said college students are one of the least healthy population groups. Many students grab food for convenience rather than nutrition. Eating healthy and exercising take a back seat to school and work while in college.

It takes a lot more time to lose weight than gain weight, Carcerano said.

“The better you eat, the better your brain functions,” Carcerano said.

By scheduling in important things like meals, exercise and study times as students do with classes, it will be easier to get everything done and reduce stress, he said.

Myth: Most college students attend four-year institutions. False.

Television’s portrayal of college life created this myth. Fewer than half of the students in college attend four-year institutions, and students living on campus comprise the smallest percentage of students attending college.

Myth: There’s no money to help me pay for college. False.

Money is a major issue when colleges come to mind, Carcerano said. The cost, financial aid and student loans are common considerations when thinking about colleges.

“It took 10 years for me to pay off my student loans,” he said.

Carcerano said student loans are easy to get because anyone can get them without a credit check. Student loans, while easily obtained, take years to pay off. If they are not paid off, they can prevent people from buying a home and affect their credit.

“Searching for scholarships is a part-time, commission-based job,” he said.

Grants and scholarships are available, but students need to actively search for them. Carcerano recommended spending 20 hours a week looking for scholarships if that is the main way a student is paying for college. One of his students moved back in with her mom to save money on rent and spent 40 hours a week looking for scholarships.

“[She made] $26,000 in scholarships after all her tuition and school supplies,” he said.

“College is for anybody who wants to learn.”

Myth: Most college students range in age from 18 to 22. False.

According to the College Planning Network, the average age for community college students in the U.S. is 30. Many people do go back to college at a later age but do not take advantage of other tools and services offered by the school, Carcerano said. Tutoring, advising, testing centers, disability services and many other services are all offered at TCC along with most other schools.

“One-third of my freshman class dropped out because they partied too much,” he said.

Many students think they can “party like rock stars” and still make good grades, Carcerano said. The problem is when physical health suffers, academic health follows.

“You have to find that balance,” he said.

Carcerano said students can find many opportunities to have fun. If one party is missed, another one is always right around the corner.

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